Agricultural Industry Inquiry- Have You Had Your Say?

Following the twelfth fatality in 12 months in the Western Australian agricultural industry, WorkSafe Commissioner Darren Kavanagh has instigated an inquiry into the safety performance of the agricultural industry in Western Australia and the issues that have influenced an increase in deaths in the industry.

Each serious injury or death is a tragedy for the family concerned, the business, and the community.

The independent Inquirer, Pam Scott, has been appointed to undertake the inquiry and will provide a report with recommendations dealing with those issues. As well as receiving written submissions, Pam is hosting consultation meetings to hear first-hand from those associated with the agricultural industry about many of the issues covered by the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference. This month, our RALFs Annabelle and Shannah attended the Agricultural Industry Inquiry Community Consultation Meeting at the Geraldton Multipurpose Centre.

If you haven’t had a chance to get to a meeting, community consultation meetings are still being held around the State, and anyone interested in attending is encouraged to register; see the link below:

https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe/agricultural-industry-inquiry-community-consultation-meeting?fbclid=IwAR3qzwyi2A6pKMUCppe0JrsczjVvYM8L9TWap-2rFYs0DJVgbLG1qa4qLZw

The meetings are aimed at providing a forum for interested people to express ideas and make contributions to the inquiry.

The issues these meetings look at include the following:

  • Arrangements to improve the health and safety of those engaged in high-risk work and the use of certain plant and substances.
  • Any issues involving the culture, attitudes and behaviour within agriculture that may contribute to injuries and fatalities, particularly focused on how they may be addressed, to reduce those injuries and fatalities.
  • The role of education in improving safety in agriculture.
  • The role of work health and safety regulatory agencies, such as WorkSafe, in providing education, advice and assistance to those who hold a duty for safe work in agriculture.
  • Issues affecting the industry associated with environmental factors such as the global pandemic and other external influences.

The meetings are scheduled for around two hours and will be followed by an opportunity for discussion.

The inquiry will consider a range of issues and recommendations on matters that affect the safety performance of the agricultural industry and have influenced the increase in deaths and we encourage everyone to have their say in the inquiry and get along to one of the meetings.

As harvest is amping up, we wish all our producers, grower groups and industry associates in the Northern Agricultural Region a happy and safe harvest. Have you checked the farm safety list lately? It might be a good time to look through this before the harvest season is well underway. Farm safety checklist (commerce.wa.gov.au)

Annabelle Garratt – Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator

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